Prescott middle closing its doors

Education

POSTED: Monday, May 7, 2012 - 8:52pm

UPDATED: Thursday, June 14, 2012 - 8:31pm

Rickey Charbonnet and his brother were part of the small crowd on hand Monday night at Prescott Middle for a meeting with Recovery School District officials. The RSD run school will be closing its doors for good next year. The brothers agree with the move, but hate to see that day.

"This was like my family," said Charbonnet, now a sophomore at Istrouma High School. "When I was here it was like a big house for me. It was my home. Now seeing nobody going to be here will be heartbreaking."

Prescott Middle will keep its name and students. They'll now be housed out of Istrouma High School, in the space that the East Baton Rouge Lab will occupy until it closes this year.

At least one parent criticized the Recovery School District for the moving of Prescott.

"Why stick them little kids with all the them grown kids," asked one parent, who refused to give her name.

She was also concerned that an aging, vacant building will diminish home prices in the area.

"So what ya'll doing with the neighborhood," she asked, "trying to make the neighborhood go down? "Because once the school leaves, home values go down."

RSD officials said the move makes sense, because Prescott Middle is a feeder school for Istrouma. They also said students will have opportunities for more high school credits. RSD is taking over six schools in north Baton Rouge that fall under the newly created "Achievement Zone." They have plans to eventually incorporate at least twenty low performing north Baton Rouge schools that also fall into the Achievement Zone boundaries.

"It shouldn't be about EBR governing the school or RSD or charter operation," said Kimberly Williams, with the Recovery School District. "It should be about how to make the right changes for children."

The Recovery School District will continue their town hall meetings this week and next. Tomorrow they'll be at Glen Oaks Middle, starting at 6p.m.

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A definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over and expecting different results. The RSD has had since 2006 to create quality schools and has failed miserably with its charters and direct run institutions. By now, there should be elementary students who have been in RSD schools from K. We should be seeing RSD elementaries with scores like Zachary and Ascension if they worked. But they are even below St. Helena!

And this is the WRONG CHANGE. Beyond damaging the community the city is trying to rebuild, the RSD is a total failure in terms of test scores. They have the worst in the state. Plus, you do not put middle school students with high school students. Middle school girls are hormonal, developed, and think they are grown but have the judgment and common sense of children. Middle school boys often don't excite them but high school boys do. They would be better off in a K-8 elementary school.

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